Yay, the TSA has officially decided to roll out their millimeter-wave airport checkpoint scanners, which essentially create a “naked” image of the person in the scanning machine. It’s not quite like paging through Playboy, but it’s a fairly high-resolution photo at the skin level.

Homeland Security’s Clark Kent Ervin (his real name!) said:

I’m delighted by this development. This really is the ultimate answer to increasing screeners’ ability to spot concealed weapons.

Fearmongering, whee!

What’s perhaps more frightening is the reaction of some airline passengers who were asked about the screening devices. Eileen Reardon of Baltimore said:

Some of this stuff seems a little crazy, but in this day and age, you have to go along with it.

No, Eileen, actually you don’t have to go along with it. You can refuse the screening (resulting in a pat-down, which is marginally less invasive) or you can simply refuse to fly. That aside, the culture of fear that’s been built by our government and the companies profiting from it for the last seven years simply continues to astound me. People who would be appalled by a stranger grabbing their breasts or taking voyeur photos of them seem to have no trouble whatsoever with airport security screeners fondling them and watching them from a remote, enclosed, private room.

From a rousing discussion on Slashdot:

Wasn’t the whole mantra several years back one of “We musn’t change our way of life, or they will have won”? Now look at us. We allow draconian measures to be passed in the name of “security”. We freak like children with imaginary boogeymen under our beds when someone even thinks the word “terrorist.” We happily give up privacy because we are sold on the illusion that it’s for our own good and it will only affect those who have nothing to hide. We have become completely paranoid and changed the way we do pretty much anything, out of fear that we will get hit again.

Society has become so caught up in trying to prevent ‘them’ from winning that the exact opposite effect seems to have occurred. Their goal wasn’t to savagely murder thousands of people– that was just the tool they chose to use. No, their real goal was to make themselves known, and us frightened. I hate to say it, but they succeeded.